12 July 2012, 12:24
Prosecutors authorize indictment against Pussy Riot, send case to court (updated)
Moscow, July 12, Interfax - The Moscow prosecutor's office has authorized an indictment against members of the Pussy Riot punk band and forwarded the case to a court.
"The indictment on this case has been endorsed. The case materials have been sent to Moscow's Khamovnichesky Court to be considered on their merits," the Russian Prosecutor General's Office told Interfax.
The prosecutor's office of Moscow's Central Administrative District endorsed the indictment against Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, Yekaterina Samutsevich, 29, and Maria Alyokhina, 24. The women have been charged with disorderly conduct.
"Tolokonnikova, Samutsevich, and Alyokhina, along with people who have not been identified by the investigation (a criminal case against whom has been opened separately), conspired to commit disorderly conduct motivated by religious hatred and enmity in relation to a certain social group through provocative and insulting deeds in a place of worship, attracting attention of a large number of believers," the Prosecutor General's Office said.
On February 21, 2012, the women, "appearing in the Russian Orthodox Church's main church, Christ the Savior Cathedral, inflicting significant damage on holy Christian values, encroaching on sacredness of sacraments, and ignoring calls by the church's candle-bearer to stop sacrilege, they unlawfully entered the enclosed space in the church designed for holy religious rites, thus blasphemously humiliating the Russian Orthodox Church's centuries-long traditions," the Prosecutor General's Office said.
"Wishing to cause even deeper spiritual wounds to Orthodox Christians, the conspirators climbed an elevated place in front of the iconostasis in the altar part of the church designed to read the Holy Scripture text and pronounce prayers and sermons, took off outdoor clothes and remained in an appearance extremely inappropriate for the occasion. They also put provocatively bright masks on their faces. Then Samutsevich uncovered an electric guitar, and Tolokonnikova turned on a record of a previously prepared blasphemous song insulting the Orthodox believers," it said.
"Continuing to grossly violate public order, according to the investigation's findings, the girls, motivated by religious enmity, shouted obscene phrases and words insulting believers and also jumped and raised their legs, imitating dancing and punching the air for one minute," it said.
The women's actions were curbed by the church's security officers and police, it said.